For Immediate Release
Hattiesburg Man Sentenced under Project EJECT to 5 Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Firearm
Jackson, Miss. – Mitchell Dewayne May, Jr., 28, of Hattiesburg, was sentenced yesterday by Senior U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett to 60 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $3000 fine, for being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
May was previously convicted of armed robbery in Forrest County in 2006 and was sentenced to serve 20 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with fourteen of those years suspended. On October 2, 2018, May was found in possession of a firearm during a traffic stop. On July 23, 2019, he pled guilty before Judge Starrett to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
In the time between his change of plea and this sentencing, May also pled guilty to a different felon in possession charge and an aggravated assault charge in Forrest County, for which he was sentenced to 20 years in state custody, with 15 of those years to serve, all to run consecutive to his federal charges. May’s 60-month sentence for his federal case also represented an upward variance from the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
This case is part of Project EJECT, an initiative by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). EJECT is a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to fighting and reducing violent crime through prosecution, prevention, re-entry and awareness. EJECT stands for “Empower Justice Expel Crime Together.” PSN is bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Hattiesburg Police Department investigated the case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew W. Eichner.